It is interesting to note that simplicity, a new naturalism and well-being are key themes in this year’s Hampton Court show gardens.
This is just what is touted by the Garden Media Group from the US as being the biggest trends for gardening in 2016 and I cannot wait to see what the young designers will do to meet expectations at Hampton Court this year.
Certainly there has been a growing trend towards naturalism over the past few years as gardens have become looser and looser with less and less formality.
Always a favorite with me is Mike Harvey’s Room With A View shown at Hampton Court in 2013. He certainly saw what was on the agenda for emerging gardens.
This look has really taken over Chelsea this year.
Andy Sturgon’s elegantly not simple Telegraph garden really gives that a shot. Stone, natural planting and topped off with the fire pit and seating inviting everyone in.
All these gardens have a natural feel to them, planted to encourage the local animal life, starting with insects attracted to flowers with nectar and places to hide. The insects will be followed by larger animals and if there is water, aquatic life.
The jungly tropical gardens around Brisbane, Australia remind me of the look if only they were a little more structured.
Not sure whether the crocs, spiders and snakes which would be attracted to this garden would be so welcome in an English suburb though…
So disheveled, layered landscapes are growing in popularity. The vegetation provides food and shelter for a growing band of urban animals. And I love this look provided there is an underlying structure to hold everything together and there is room for people too.
All of this is associated with a need to keep things simple. These landscapes should not need extensive pruning or gardening. And if you choose the plants right, so they are hardy, fit into the local climate and are not needy, there will be respite from garden work in the longer term.
Truly Chelsea this year really caught the trend, so many of the gardens were simply structured and organic in feel. They were hardy, natural, and built around themes for protecting the environment.
M&G garden, designed by Cleve West represents the look and feel so well.
Cleve remembers the old Oak woodlands of his childhood in Exmore National Park and pays homage to that landscape. Stone and gravel paths take you past stunted oaks and rocks to a sunken terrace and pool.
The oak theme is a metaphor for the Cleve’s values, strength, growth and longevity.
I think that one reflects the look of underlying structure mixed with natural, informal planting to attract and protect both human and animal visitors.